Unlike traditional medical treatments focusing on curing diseases, hospice care emphasizes quality of life, comfort and dignity in a patient’s final days.
In this comprehensive guide, we explore what is hospice care at home, its significance and how it functions to provide solace and support to both patients and their families.
What is hospice care at home?
Hospice care at home is a form of compassionate end-of-life care designed for those who are facing terminal illnesses. Unlike hospital-based care, in-home hospice allows you to remain in a familiar environment surrounded by loved ones.
When you receive this type of care, the focus is more on:
- Pain management
- Symptom relief
- Emotional support
- Spiritual support
How does in-home hospice work?
In-home hospice care involves a team approach which includes:
- Social workers
- Spiritual advisors
- Trained volunteers
- Home health aides
Your hospice team works together to provide you with the best care possible and make your remaining time as comfortable as possible. Aside from that, they’re available 24/7 to answer any question that you might have.
What are the four levels of hospice care?
1. Routine care
This is the most common level, where care is provided in your home or place of residence.
2. Continuous care
If you need more constant care or attention, hospice can provide nursing or caregiver services in the home for short periods.
3. General inpatient care
When the symptoms can’t be managed at home, hospice care will assist you to an inpatient hospital or inpatient hospice stay.
4. Respite care
To give a break to your caregivers or family members, you may be temporarily placed in a hospice facility, hospital or nursing home.
The benefits of in-home hospice care
When you receive in-home hospice care, you spend your final days with a sense of dignity and peace in the comfort of your home. At the same time, this type of care provides your family with emotional and practical support to help them cope during this challenging time.
How long can a person live in hospice?
In general, hospice care is reserved for those expected to live six months or less. At this stage, you, your family and your doctor can discuss the best option based on your condition.
Some patients receive hospice care for a few days, while others may benefit from these services for months or even longer. More importantly, hospice care can be discontinued at any time if your condition improves or if you decide to resume curative treatments.
What is the difference between hospice care and palliative care?
While both hospice and palliative care focus on providing comfort and relieving pain, there are key differences.
Palliative care can be provided at any stage of a serious illness and can be given alongside curative treatments.
Hospice care, on the other hand, is specifically for patients who are no longer receiving curative treatments and have a limited life expectancy, which is six months or less.
Does receiving hospice care mean giving up?
Choosing hospice care doesn’t mean giving up hope or surrendering to death. It’s about choosing quality of life and comfort in the final stages of a terminal illness. It’s a decision to focus on the quality of remaining life by managing pain and symptoms to make every day as comfortable as possible.
Hospice care at home provides a compassionate and patient-centered approach to end-of-life care.
When you receive this type of care, you spend your final days in the comfort and familiarity of your own home. With the support of a dedicated hospice team, you and your family can navigate this challenging period with the care, support and comfort you need.